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Stunned Muller

Written By: - Date published: 8:01 am, June 3rd, 2020 - 85 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, human rights, national, todd muller, uncategorized - Tags:

Yesterday was not a great day for Todd Muller.

I do not know who his media advisers are but the first question he should have prepared for was what the most predictable question ever in the history of politics.

And it came. He was asked “[d]o you think Donald Trump is a racist”?

This was his answer.

It is up to Donald Trump?  The current POTUS who has shown how unbelievably appalling he is as a leader in so many ways, the latest being the way he has totally botched a pandemic and the way he has let the response to the George Floyd murder spiral totally out of control?

Every day there is something more insane.  Yesterday it was the gassing of protestors to clear an area near the White House so that Trump could have a photo op with a bible.

And the calling in of the National Guard. And the leaked tape of a call with Governors where he attacked them for being weak for not calling in military while he hid in a bunker. And the attempted branding of Antifa as a terrorist organisation.

I mean shouldn’t he start with the Klu Klux Klan first if he wanted to make a statement about Black Lives actually mattering?

And people who classify themselves as being Antifa have engaged in low level violence.  Like punching Richard Spencer.

The pacifist in nme is struggling to be upset by this.

But Antifa is no more an organisation than people believing that Black lives matter is. If you are distressed by fascism then you are Antifa. I know that I am.

Getting back to Todd Muller this is how he should have answered.


Fancy being that weak that he would run away from a question about if Trump was a racist.

I suspect for the brains trust the end of the election cannot come quickly enough.  Then they can put an end to Todd Muller’s reign and install Chris Luxon.

85 comments on “Stunned Muller ”

  1. If you are distressed by fascism then you are Antifa.

    Not so! If you're opposed to fascism, you're an anti-fascist. If you're a violent narcissist who loves smashing other people's stuff and thinks anyone less left than you is a fascist, you're Antifa. There's actually a big difference, don't let people lump you in with those fucks.

    • Phil 1.1

      If you're a violent narcissist who loves smashing other people's stuff and thinks anyone less left than you is a fascist, you're Antifa.

      This sentence couldn't be more Fox News Playbook if you tried.

      • Psycho Milt 1.1.1

        Meh. I first encountered the creeps in Germany in the mid-90s, and they struck me as being just as dangerous as the neo-Nazis. Nothing since then has given me reason to change my mind. And I had one trying to tell me on Twitter the other day that Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn are Nazis. In this particular instance, Fox isn't that far off the mark.

        • swordfish

          Don't let the fashionably radical ex-Boarding School Woke in their Che Guevara Rik Mayall urban guerilla berets hear you say that. Like Scientologists, the Intersectional Cult doesn't much care for critics & heretics.

          You'll rapidly find your character assassinated with wild abandon … & possibly more than a touch of emotional incontinence. Usual modus operandi involves 2 or 3 Cult members turning up on social media to perform a kind of cancel-culture pincer movement against the chosen victim-apostate, ruthlessly (often hilariously) attacking from all sides.

          Your critique will certainly leave them shaken down at the Varsity Anarchist Society.

          • mac1

            You're saying we must be deferens to the VAS?

            I remember back in the Sixties listening to some beret-wearing member of the far-left group of the time, so memorable I can’t remember its name, whose idea of destroying the establishment was to go down and graffiti the local police station in Wellington.

            He’s probably a retired banker by now.

            The occasion in Wellington was the Peace Power and Politics in Asia conference in 1968. Four years later the Kirk government withdrew our troops from Vietnam.

            • swordfish

              LOL. Occupying the Uni Refrectory, so what ??? This is the real thing ! … graffiting an actual Police Station ,,, we’re Desperados !!!

              Ahhh, the 60s … marched against the Vietnam War myself … well, rode against it as a nipper in nappies in a pushchair Nov 1965 (one of the earliest large-ish demonstrations in Wellington … by all accounts: as many trade unionists & trad Labour people (sprinkling of Trots & Marxist-Leninists too) … as there were young earnest duffel-coat-wearing Middle-Class proto-Hippie Boomers).

            • Grumpy

              Try "Progressive Youth Movement"…..

              • mac1

                Those were they.

                I was wearing the duffel coat, with faux bone toggles, draped negligently across the shoulders, cape style with scarf swept carelessly around the neck.

                Thus draped I was once hit with an egg, luckily raw, thrown by a counter-demonstrator. mac1. Middle (acting) Class proto-hippie Boomer.

                Move over, Muller.

          • lprent

            They tend to annoy me about as much as rw and mindless trolls do, and for the same reasons. Piss-poor behaviour, good at being critics, couldn’t figure out something to do that actually might work, and generally rigid incoherent thinkers who crap their ideas straight from a manual rather than use their brains..

            • swordfish

              They tend to annoy me about as much as rw and mindless trolls do, and for the same reasons.

              Spot on. Crude, child-like, low-resolution worldview combined with a highly deluded sense of moral superiority, a marked tendency toward performative narcissism & a deep vein of anti-democratic intolerance. Spoiled brats lacking self-awareness.

              I’m in a charitable mood today.

      • Cinny 1.1.2

        If you're a violent narcissist who loves smashing other people's stuff and thinks anyone less left than you is a fascist, you're Antifa my tory ex husband.

        Fixed it 🙂 Lmao!

    • Spot on, PM. There's some things fundamentally lacking in the antifa movement. For one, there's no coherent political position and secondly the devolved structure means that there isn't the internal discipline need to deliver actual change. Plus being 'anti' is no vote winner. You can't build a mass movement for positive change with a negative as a core message.

  2. Andre 2

    … gassing of protestors to clear an area …

    That's a massive understatement. Clergy were gassed to drive them from their church grounds so the fake-bronze false-prophet could have his photo-op.

    But to be fair to Muller, that particular outrage wasn't related to racism. It’s just more evidence of the Manchurian Rot-melon’s complete lack of any redeeming features (as if any more evidence were needed).

  3. Muller imagined himself attaining Leadership, but he never imagined Donald Trump's behaviour, and to be fair most of us are shocked at how the President is behaving and how this is all turning out.

    No Leader will call out another Leader directly. Todd Muller could have said "This looks very bad" or something which agreed the case indirectly, but Todd is not an adroit thinker.

    Racism is rife in America, and their Police are chosen by locals with their beliefs reinforced by their choices.

    What we need to guard against is "othering".

    The danger of "them and us " in any form plays into fascism.

    Trump is desperate to win the election by any means. He uses weakness in their system and the fears of people.

    • Tricledrown 3.1

      Lame Muler limping into clown mode minister of silly talks,his finger puppets can't even mime the words properly.

      Judith Collins has backed what she thought was a thoroughbred but turned to be an ass.

  4. bernard 4

    Todd Muller-the way he stands and speaks loudly and waves his arms ridgidly in front of him reminds me a bit of a little man from the 1940`s with a moustache,all thats missing is clenched fists.(and a moustache)

    • Incognito 4.1

      You appear to be a new user on this site and I’ve approved your comment. However, I find your comment unhelpful and flawed as it attacks Muller’s appearance, not his message, and makes a dubious and irrelevant comparison to a historical figure with a very bad reputation.

      Please familiarise yourself with this site’s Policy: https://thestandard.org.nz/policy/

    • That_guy 4.2

      So yeah this is a stupid and pointless comment that attacks the physical appearance of another human being and immediately goes full Nazi. Please do better.

  5. That_guy 5

    Because he's afraid of losing the racist vote if he just comes out and says it, which he needs to nix Winston. It's a political calculation.

    He's a bit like Fox News. Not racist, but #1 with racists. Well, maybe #2.

  6. Paul 6

    The thing about the USA is that it has always focussed on freedom (as opposed to countries like NZ that focus on a 'fair go'). But its hard to see how any one can have freedom when large groups of people live in fear of racism, of school shootings, of mass shootings, of poverty, have no mandated paid leave provisions, a buggered health system etc etc etc. It's sad – very sad and certainly not freedom.

  7. Andre 7

    I can't believe I'm defending Muller here, but the reality is even vastly more capable and experienced leaders can struggle with what to say when asked about Donny Rotten's personal qualities.


    • joe90 7.1


      • Andre 7.1.1

        Gotta wonder if daddy's words were also running through Justin's mind during those 20 seconds of meditation.

    • Sacha 7.2

      One is gathering his thoughts before a coherent and leaderly speech; the other is gaping like a goober then uttering one banal line.

      • Sacha 7.2.1

        Unfortunately tweets only auto-embed in comments, not the original post above:


        • Sacha

          OK, apparently 'events' do not embed anywhere. Doh.

        • lprent

          They should be able to auto-embed in posts?

          I’ll try it out when I get some time. First day back in the workplace so I’m kind of busy getting the damn hardware shifted over and reinstalled, upgrading the software on the gear I didn’t take home, and testing the firmware that was such a pain to look at in my small apartment (damn annoying to spend half an hour looking for a mini usb cable)

          • Sacha

            Might be designed that way at their end. More important tweaks here I'd wager.

          • Macro

            Lynn – WTFJHT is also experiencing the same problem with twitter links in comments as well not auto-embeding. As Sacha suggests – seems to be a problem with their updated system.

            • Sacha

              These are not regular tweets – and it's the only time any of us have tried to link to one so far. Unless that changes, Lynn has bigger fish to fry.

      • Chris 7.2.2

        People on the street who've been asked a question about anything then had a microphone shoved in their face do better than Muller ever has. May it continue.

  8. tc 8

    Toddy should've seen that coming and been ready as any half decent CEO is ready for the curly ones.

    After all the cap does fit national so better sharpen up before Winnie and the likes of Tamaki erode that swinging vote that’s up for a dog whistle.

  9. mac1 9

    Is Trump a racist? All of humanity is in some way prejudiced. I see no one picking up a stone……..

    What is the purpose of the question? Is it to seek out whether Muller is racist? Is it to test his definition of racism? Is it to attack Trump? Is it to signal that the questioner is not racist?

    What can the Leader of the Opposition in New Zealand do to act on Trump's racism? Or, better, what can he/we do to act on the racism within New Zealand?

    • left_forward 9.1

      I agree with you mac1 – the appropriate response is to self reflect on what this question of racism means and examine the tendency to project one's own pain / guilt onto another, no matter how big, blatant and obvious someone else's canvas is, as in Trump.

      • mac1 9.1.1

        "one's own pain / guilt"……. that will take some teasing out.

        I saw a poster on FaceBook along the lines of, "I you ever wondered what you'd do during slavery, the Holocaust or the civil rights movement: then you're doing it now."

        • left_forward

          Re: pain / guilt – our shared experience is that we are encouraged by family and society to judge ourselves and each other – a never ending comparison, where we are relentlessly expected to assess our own worthiness against another. This causes us to project our own guilt for not being sufficiently worthy onto others in a futile attempt to relieve the pain of not living up to our own expectations. It is a neurosis we all share to different extents (not just Trump or white supremacists). Racism is its tribal form. In reality of course, we are all equally worthy, period.

          • mac1

            Thanks for the explanation.

            The problem with both Muller and I is our shared Catholic upbringing. "Domine, non sum dignus". The intrinsic belief that we are not worthy, poor sinners.

            The prayer concludes. “But only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

            How does a society heal its soul? Holding up a bible outside a church cleared by troopers?

            • left_forward

              "Domine, non sum dignus"

              Interesting how this phrase reveals its meaning from the latin roots of English words. Trump's command to the State Governors to 'dominate' in this context is to act as if he / they are God.

              Non sum meaning I am not, and dignus providing the root of the word for dignity or worthiness.

              Being made to feel unworthy is at the root of this anger – black lives are indeed worthy! All lives are worthy!

              Whether Catholic or not, we all judge ourselves as unworthy. The healing starts with each one of us – and requires us to start by loving ourselves as the amazing beings that we are.

              Then we will be ready to heed some of the words from Trump’s bible –

              “thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”

              • mac1

                Dominus was what a servus/slave called his master in Rome.

                Does this feeling unworthy also fuel the anger of the underclass poor white trash supremacist?

                Does it explain their champion, Trump, himself?

              • mac1

                left_forward, I've asked a lot of questions, some rhetorical, and I thank you for your explanations and your compassionate understanding.

  10. Enough is Enough 10

    Diplomacy and honesty don't always work hand in hand. I think only the Green Party would have the courage to properly call Trump out.

    Correct me if I am wrong but I don't think any cabinet minister has called Trump out as racist.

    • observer 10.1

      I wouldn't expect any PM of NZ to call the President of the USA a racist … directly. There are diplomatic requirements for leaders that the rest of us don't have.

      But in the aftermath of the mosque attacks Ardern did slap Trump down at her press conference. What a leader avoids saying is a pretty strong signal too.

      As for Muller, again I wouldn't expect him to say "yes he is". But there are dozens of ways for politicians to respond to a question they don't like. He couldn't manage one, simply because he is hopeless at this job he wanted.

      • Gosman 10.1.1

        Give me an example of a way in which he should have responded that would have been acceptable?

        • roy cartland

          "Frankly it would be outside the bounds of recognised international diplomacy for me to say that: The president – of the United States – Donald Trump – is a racist".

          But what I will say…etc

          • observer

            Oh yeah, Key loved that one.

            "Will he sack the Minister?"

            "What I can say is …" (ignores Q).

            Annoying, sure. But when a journo says jump, you don't jump – unless you want to.

        • woodart

          do your own(party) work gosman. if you and toddler cant figure out how to think and walk at the same time, you need extra tuition after school.not a hard question to expect or neatly sidestep.

        • Tricledrown

          Gosman you know how out of touch the last leader was

    • Chris T 10.2

      I haven't even seen Ardern asked the same question.

      The closest I have seen is did she think the dudes death was bad.


      Well obviously.

      Our journalists can be a bit shit sometimes.

      • observer 10.2.1

        You can see it here: 0.48, exactly the same question, same reporter.

        Ardern press conference, yesterday

        Like Muller, she did not answer directly (no sensible leader would). Unlike Muller, she did not appear fazed by it. Anticipating and avoiding the Qs you don't want are basic political skills, which the leader of the opposition will need to learn.

  11. mac1 11

    Todd Muller is not a stunned mullet, btw. Stunned mullets don't flap!

  12. observer 12

    It's clear from this morning's interviews that the media training has kicked in. Much less arm waving, and sorting out confusion on the time delay.

    He's now ready to be a new candidate standing somewhere down the party list.

    • Agreed Observer. I thought Muller sounded competent on Morning Report this morning.

      I noted that he could list 6 criteria out of his head (unless he was looking at a list which I doubt) so the election cannot be taken for granted.

      He has the farmers with him and will probably get most business people behind him by September. That, coupled with ACT, is a potentially winning combination.

      Let's all hope the Greens get 5% (which I think they will).

  13. How many business people remember their struggles in the GFC? 12 short years ago.

    How much actual help did they get then?

    How many Farmers actually believe they need to work on climate change?

    Both groups may vote for a more supportive Government, and the Key years are not forgotten.

  14. Adrian 14

    If Hooten is involved with the Muller Team , and I use that word loosely, I would love to have a secret camera in there, The Thick Of It wouldn't have a patch on it, but shit it would be funny to watch.

  15. DS 15

    I'm hardly a Nat, but honestly, this is Gotcha Questioning. No Prime Minister or Leader of the Opposition can call the President of the United States a racist – and in this particular case, saying Trump isn't racist would provoke a firestorm. All you can do is fob off the question – as Muller did.

    • observer 15.1

      A "gotcha" question is unexpected. Asking about something that the journalist knows about, but the politician doesn't. ("Do you agree with your MP who has just said …?").

      The story dominating the world news is hardly a surprising thing to be asked about. So he didn't need to be thinking on his feet. He only needed to have prepared for the obvious. The opposite of a "gotcha".

      You're right to say he fobbed it off, and that was all he could be expected to do. How well he did it is a matter of opinion. Badly, I'd suggest.

      • Gosman 15.1.1

        Again, what would have been the better response?

        • observer

          You want me to spend my day teaching you or Muller "Politics for Beginners"?

          Dozens of options. Ardern had one (see 10.2.1 above). Pick and mix any combinations of the obvious –

          "not for me to comment on another elected leader … inappropriate … interfere in other countries' internal affairs … reject racism in all its forms … our responsibility is to the NZ public … blah blah … next question"

          Politicians know how not to answer. Clark: the glare. Key: the shrug.

          Stunned silence – not an option.

          • McFlock

            I certainly wouldn't dare to know the true source of an individual's motives, and the outcome of poorly-chosen but well-meaning words can be as damaging as well-chosen words inspired by negative motives.

            Not talking about bunker-baby here, but Gosman 🙂

        • Grafton Gully

          "I reject completely the divisive actions of any head of state that weaken our resolve to face and defeat the dangers that threaten us."

          • In Vino

            Imagine if any reporter were stupid enough to ask Winston that question…

            Gosman, it is obvious that Muller hasn't even thought about the attitudes and skills needed. You asked a dumb question.

        • Tricledrown

          Obviously National has jumped out of the frying pan into the fire and needs someone with a Brain.not some silo thinker from middle management.

    • Macro 15.2

      No Prime Minister or Leader of the Opposition can call the President of the United States a racist

      But they can called the POTUS a "just a peanut farmer"..

      Prime Minister Helen Clark yesterday dismissed former United States Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun as a pecan farmer from Alabama.

      The terse remark was reminiscent of the sneering reference in 1977 by former Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, who described US President Jimmy Carter as just a peanut farmer from Georgia.


  16. observer 16

    Answering reporters' questions is one thing. But preparing and asking your own questions is as simple as it gets. You're not going to be caught unawares, are you? But … still too hard for Todd.

    In Parliament just now he couldn't even follow the beginner's rule of phrasing his Qs properly. All over the place.


    • Chris T 16.1

      Muller is starting to look a bit of a knob at question time.

      How many times can you ask the same fricken question before you just look lost ffs

      • observer 16.1.1

        I suppose the one consolation for National is that Bridges often looked effective vs Ardern at Question Time (his prosecutor experience showed) but it did him no good in the long run. Not many people watch it really.

        Trouble is, Muller doesn't have a long run.

    • Chris T 16.2

      Having said that. Ardern could do with losing the slogans

  17. Peter 17

    Trudeau paused for 21 seconds before answering the question. Seems quite a long time when you watch and wait doesn't it?

    Something to reflect on:

    If Trudeau had continued for 505 more seconds he would have used up the time the knee was on George Floyd's neck.

    • Incognito 17.1

      If only Derek Chauvin had engaged his brain for 21 seconds, George Floyd might possibly have been still alive.

      • Tricledrown 17.1.1

        If George Floyd was white he would still be alive.

        After the recent slaughtering of an innocent jogger and the initial failing to prosecute the vigilante murder.

        The Covid 19 statistics for the US for African Americans Casual low paid jobs poor access the healthcare housing education etc then Add Trump.

        The US is in major trouble

  18. mary_a 18

    A good question to ask Todd Muller, a good Catholic guided by and influenced by his strong faith he says, is this … what's his opinion on Trump and Mrs T standing humbly in front of a Catholic church, paying homage at a statue of former Pope, now Saint John Paul? Particularly relevent, after the actions of yesterday, police using violence moving peaceful protesters, to make room for Trump to walk to a nearby Episcopalian church, for him to brandish a bible for cheap publicity! As a leader of a major political party, I'm sure the electorate would be interested in Muller's response to these recent events!

    As Trump seems to be doing the rounds of the churches at present, I take it this action will also include Mosques, Synagogues, Temples etc?

  19. SPC 19

    Trump and history

    1. Thought the pandemic would be over by summer

    His own grandfather died on 30 May 1918 of the flu

    2. His belief in use of force to crush protest and the criminalisation of those arrested (10 year sentences)

    His father was arrested wearing a KKK robe in 1927 at a protest they organised in New York, the only one of 7 arrested (for not obeying police orders) not later charged.

    3. The claim of his father (from the 40's) and later also the Donald until the late 80"s that they had Swedish ancestry.

    When this lie was exposed, the Donald claimed his father was German (his father was born in the Bronx to German parents).

  20. Corey Humm 20

    I hate to defend Todd but so what if he didn’t condemn Trump or call him a racist the pm last night said it would be inappropriate for an NZ leader to comment on US domestic affairs and she’s right and Todd like all world leaders including the PM dance around this question so it’s unfair for him to be judged to a higher standard than the pm on this question.

    Besides if Todd is to be judged a racist for his maga hat surely Jacinda is a racist for her close personal friendship with Danish PM from Labours sister party Mette Fredrickson, whose opinions on refugees and immigration and on LGBT and minority issues are arguably more deplorable than Trump’s but everyone was eating up their talko love fest in Facebook last month.

    We are a small trading nation and like the pm said “we should focus on our backyards” the last thing we need is other world leaders calling out our national shames of which there are many.

    • observer 20.1

      Please read the comments and links provided. Your point has already been answered several times.

      Both Muller and Ardern were asked the same question. Nobody (reasonable) would expect him – or her – to say "Yes, Trump is a racist". But we could reasonably expect them to handle it much better than Muller did.

  21. Barfly 21

    Yeah gotta say criticising the president of the USA doesn't come easy these days.

    I seem to remember Muldoon calling Jimmy Carter "just a failed peanut farmer" or something very close – different times I guess. Mind you if he were still alive I would imagine his opinion of Trump (which he would state) would be absolutely excoriating.

  22. TJ 22

    He, ultimately, will be able to make that call himself…

    That isn't the same as "Ultimately its up to Trump to decide if he’s a racist or not…" as stated in the tweet account. In desperation to attack Trump, whoever Bounder is, straw-manned their own argument.

    In NZ culture, what Muller said was, "In situations where powerful things occur, I would certainly be the man in overall control."

    He wasn't "lost for words", or underprepared. He's just another National Party Cyborg.

  23. NZJester 23

    Most of the Terrorist attacks in the US have been done by White Nationalists. But Donald Trump has in the past posted tweets saying they are not all bad and excusing their protests and violent actions.

    If you have a peaceful protest by people of colour that the police try to break up, suddenly Donald Trump says the protestors are thugs and the police should take stronger action against them.

    This is a man who at campaign rallies has goaded on his supporters to attack people peacefully protesting against him.

    A lot of the people that have been attacking the Antifa people at the pipeline protests for instance are actually hired thugs, a lot are off-duty police officers being paid by the oil companies to be security or people that have failed tests to become police offices and joined private security companies instead.

    I see he is saying now he was not hiding in the bunker in the Whitehouse, it was just an inspection.

    There are photos of Trumps father in a Klu Klux Klan robe. His father was arrested at a protest set up by the Klu Klux Klan at one time, but he claims his father was never in the Klu Klux Klan. His father was fined a number of times for the way he tried to exclude Black tenants from renting his properties.
    The saying goes “The Apple does not fall far from the tree.”

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    Richard Edwards, Jude Ball, Janet Hoek, George Thomson, Nick Wilson*  On November 28 new legislation to protect children from smoking and vaping in cars will come into force. This blog sets out the background and rationale for the new law, and discusses implementation, evaluation and the next steps to protect ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Judith's Last Stand.
    Going Out With All Guns Blazing: Why didn’t Judith Collins stick with the strategy that had kept her, National’s most improbable of leaders, in power for more than a year? One might just as well ask why Rob Muldoon (that other unforgiving right-wing populist National Party leader) got drunk and ...
    3 days ago
  • Act’s Precarious Ascendancy.
    On The Lookout: It is easy to imagine how closely Seymour has been watching the National Opposition for the slightest sign of a Clark figure emerging. A respected politician, who enjoys broad support across the party and, much more importantly, who impresses the ordinary centre-right voter as having what it ...
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #47, 2021
    104 articles by 574 contributing authors Physical science of climate change, effects Delayed impacts of Arctic sea-ice loss on Eurasian severe cold winters Jang et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 10.1029/2021jd035286 Observations of climate change, effects Divergent responses of terrestrial carbon use efficiency to climate variation from 2000 ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour’s Eyes Wide Shut To “Unruly Tenants”.
    Not Seeing The Problem: They say there are none so blind as those who will not see. And, right now, Kāinga Ora is studiously not looking. It is clear to everyone that the Minister responsible, Poto Williams, has (like so many of her colleagues) been entirely captured by her officials. ...
    3 days ago
  • Is the mob coming for Charles Darwin?
    Richard Dawkins recently noted the giants of the past are being sanctimoniously judged by nonentities of the present whose only qualification is still being alive to do so. How will the future judge our own time when we are not around? Peter Franklin from Unherd examines whether the woke can ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Blowing a Hole in Your Own Wall: Idiotic Tampering with MIQ
    Managed Isolation/Quarantine has been a fact of life for New Zealand for eighteen months. It’s not popular – there are only so many spaces available at any given time, and the process is famously opaque – but it is the key to saving New Zealand from rampant Coronavirus. That, ...
    3 days ago
  • Now Labour wants secret trials
    Today, the government introduced the Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill to the House. The Bill would allow the government to use classified information in civil or criminal proceedings and keep it secret from the other party. So people suing the government for human rights abuses could lose, and defendants ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The end of a toxic leader
    If there's one thing that Judith Collins is usually good at, it's using scandalous information about other people to her advantage. Not above undermining her own political party, Collins has been known to even leak against her own fellow MPs, particularly those who posed a threat to her as the ...
    4 days ago
  • A transformative government in Germany
    Back in September Germans went to the polls, and handed the politicians a tough job, with no easy majorities for anyone. The Social Democrats, Free Democrats, and Greens agreed to work together in a "traffic light" coalition, but given their political differences (its basicly ACT/Greens/Labour), expectations for real change were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Political Harakiri
    The National party must always have known that they were taking a risk when they elected Judith Collins as leader. There were, after all, good reasons why they repeatedly declined to accept her candidature when she offered herself – as she frequently did. She was always an inappropriate person to ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Thanksgiving advice, 2021: How to deal with climate change-denying Uncle Pete
    This is a re-post from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists by Richard Somerville “Birds of a feather flock together,” so I am sure that nearly all of those reading this article accept the main findings of climate science. Yet many people don’t. Instead, they believe a variety of climate ...
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the demotion of Simon Bridges
    So Simon Bridges has been bounced from the front bench and stripped of his shadow portfolio responsibilities for the crudely “inappropriate” comments that he allegedly made to a female colleague, Jacqui Dean – and personally apologised for – about five years ago. After years of mocking Labour for its supposed ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 25 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Rosemary Wette, Associate Professor, Applied Linguistics, University of Auckland: “I’ve been browsing regularly through NZ Politics Daily for several months now. It gives me access to a range of views on current issues (helpfully organised by topic) that I wouldn’t otherwise have time to look up, or ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • The bizarre case of the Royal Society investigating academics defending science
    The Royal Society has begun a disciplinary investigation against a group of academics. The academics were defending science and in the past would have expected support from the Royal Society. The Free Speech Union has launched a campaign to defend the academics and academic freedom. Māori professor under investigation for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Unionism and nursing in New Zealand
    In the around 35 years I worked for unions (over 30 with the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists and earlier with the New Zealand Educational Institute) I often cogitated over the distinction between unions and unionism. They are intertwined but not inseparable. I associate unionism with collective consciousness able to ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Today’s constitutional disgrace in Parliament
    This Government has a problem with urgency. Critics from both left and right have long complained about their lack of urgency on issues such as climate change, housing, and inequality. Likewise, in terms of the Covid response, there’s been a chorus of criticism that Labour has been complacent and sluggish ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Vaping needs much tighter regulation as we approach Smokefree Aotearoa 2025: Two new studies
    Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Jennifer Summers, Driss Ait Ouakrim, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards, Tony Blakely* Two recent studies provide new insights into the impact vaping may have on public health. The first estimates that use of modern vaping devices could be around a third as harmful to health as smoking. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Strange Defeat: A Guest Post By Dr. Chris Harris.
    They Did Things Differently Then: And we might still be doing things differently, if the world these "Country Lads" were fighting for, and which endured for nearly 30 years after World War II, had not been supplanted by the world we inhabit now. In spite of its reality, New Zealand's ...
    5 days ago
  • More than 147km – the transformative potential of the Wellington bike network plan
    Feature image by Luke Pilkinton-Ching, University of Otago Wellington   Caroline Shaw, Anja Mizdrak, Ryan Gage* Wellington City Council is currently consulting on a cycle network for Wellington. This is a big deal. WCC are proposing a 147km cycle network around the city, the vast majority of which is new. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 24 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Liz Brown, Senior communications advisor, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists: “The NZ Politics Daily is a fabulous resource providing a comprehensive one stop shop on what’s making news and how stories are being covered. I look forward to seeing it pop into my inbox every morning.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Taking us for a ride
    Agricultural emissions has been an oozing sore in our climate change policy for over a decade. Exempted from the ETS in 2008, farmers were meant to be brought in and start paying for their emissions in 2012. Of course, National put a stop to that, and exempted them forever. When ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: An industry in denial
    Over the past few years it has become clear that coal has no future in Aotearoa. Rising carbon prices, a ban on new boilers and a legislated phase-out for existing infrastructure are going to drive it out of the market. To reinforce this, the government signed up for an anti-coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The “most open and transparent government ever” again
    The government is about to pass new vaccination mandate legislation under urgency. So obviously, they'd want to ensure it gets the best possible scrutiny in the limited time available by releasing the supporting policy documents, right? Of course not: On the eve of legislation to enable vaccination passes being ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on farmers playing the victim, plus Chile’s right turn
    Among the farming lobby groups, the good cop/bad cop routine has been working a treat. It suits Federated Farmers to keep daylight between itself and the Groundswell movement. Month in, year out the Federation continues to engage with the government over the very same water degradation/climate change regulations that Groundswell ...
    6 days ago
  • Important People
    The Herald has returned to form with a vengeance. In today’s issue, Barry Soper snipes at Jacinda’s handling of her regular press conferences. It seems that she did not give him an early chance to ask his very important question and took no account of his need to depart immediately ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Parliament, the Courts and the end of three strikes (for now)
    Last week, Parliament embarked on the process of repealing the so-called “three strikes” provisions in the Sentencing Act 2002. Given that Labour, the Greens and Te Paati Māori all supported this repeal Bill at first reading (and that NZ First no longer is in government to block the move), three strikes’ eventual legislative demise seems ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 23 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Martyn Bradbury, Editor, The Daily Blog “’NZ Politics Daily’ is one of the most important news and political resources run in New Zealand. The expert collation of opinion and news makes it an invaluable day to day resource as well as an incredible treasure for researchers in the future. ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Emission Reduction Plan
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Dissing The Farmers.
    Neale vs The Revolting Farmers: One has to admire the way Capital Government Relations CEO, Neale Jones, covers-off all the bases of the current political zeitgeist. In a masterfully composed tweet, he lambasts the Groundswell protesters as sexists, racists and reactionaries, clinging for dear life to “a purely extractive economic ...
    6 days ago
  • How will carbon pricing impact inflation?
    This is a re-post from the Citizens' Climate Lobby blog Inflation — the decline of purchasing power as prices rise — is currently at its highest level in 30 years. This has led to concern among the public and policymakers about the rising costs of many important products like food, shelter, gasoline, ...
    6 days ago
  • (Lack of) Public Service Announcement: The National Library of New Zealand, Internet Archive, and Al...
    The National Library of New Zealand has not covered itself in glory in recent times. The decision to axe most of the Overseas Collection (some 600,000 books) in order to make way for more New Zealand items (which it collects already, and which amounts to some 3,000 items ...
    6 days ago
  • Game over for the HRPP
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Chinese influence and American hate diffusion.
    Over the last decade concerns have been raised about Chinese “influence operations” in NZ and elsewhere. Run by CCP-controlled “United Front” organisations, influence operations are designed to promote PRC interests and pro-PRC views within the economic and political elites of the targeted country as well as Chinese diaspora communities. The ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • The Real Interests Of The Country.
    Off Message: Into the extremely fraught relationship between Town and Country, the Groundswell organisers have blundered like an Aberdeen-Angus steer in an organic vege-shop. Unreasonably proud of their rural economic virtues, and dangerously forthright in their enumeration of the cities’ political vices, these Kiwi equivalents of America’s “good ole boys” ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 22 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Minna Reid, Law student, Victoria University of Wellington “As a Uni student, staying up to date with current affairs is always important. The Daily Politics & Democracy Project by Bryce Edwards is of great service for this. It offers varying news sources I would not have found myself ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 days ago
  • Free speech is a people’s frank confession to itself
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    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #47
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, November 14, 2021 through Sat, November 20, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheeple? A.I. Maps 20 Years of Climate Conspiracies, COP Negotiators Demand Nations ...
    1 week ago
  • The F Words, by Barbara Gregorich
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The Scourge of the Aimless Kick
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Delta Rocks Gibraltar: Lessons to be learned from Covid-19’s global resurgence.
    Hard To Beat: Perhaps the most important lesson to be drawn from what is happening in Gibraltar is that vaccination is not a magic bullet. Yes, it makes it harder to contract the virus, and significantly ameliorates its worst effects, but it does not confer absolute immunity to Covid-19 – ...
    1 week ago
  • I’ll take the masks and vaccines, thank you
    From Stuff:I don't want to be pedantic, but I'm pretty sure neither masks nor vaccines figure much in the Gospel of Saint John; nor has Jesus shown much efficacy in protecting people from anything. ...
    1 week ago
  • Hell To Pay: The alarming similarities between the Anti-Vaccination Movement and the creators of the...
    Never Let Go: If the violent prejudices of the Jim Crow South, echoing through contemporary struggles, teach us anything, it is that the defence of rationality, science and progressivism must never be allowed to falter. Those pre-modern night-riders, filled with unrelenting hate, are still out there. If the troops of ...
    1 week ago
  • A Peak Out of Auckland? + Other Covid Musings
    At last, we have some cause for optimism out of Auckland’s interminable Covid outbreak. Knowing our luck, it might be a false dawn… but there are some signs that we have seen the peak:
    1 week ago
  • Sing Song about Hard Times
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A good problem to have
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the politics of anger, plus a music playlist
    Angry? Are you talkin’ to ME? Of late, the Code Red levels of resentment inspired by the government’s Covid policy almost make one hanker for the days when people could write best-selling books about New Zealanders being The Passionless People. Not anymore. A hissy fit arms race seems to be ...
    1 week ago
  • No, vaccinated people are not ‘just as infectious’ as unvaccinated people if they get COVID
    Jack Feehan, Victoria University and Vasso Apostolopoulos, Victoria University   Some recent studies have shown similar peak viral loads in vaccinated people compared to unvaccinated people who contract COVID. This has raised concerns for the efficacy of vaccines for preventing transmission. How concerned should we be? Are vaccinated people just ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Electric cars alone won’t save the planet. We’ll need to design cities so people can walk and cy...
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Worn down by bad news? You’re not alone…
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato   Last week’s COVID protest outside parliament served as a warning that New Zealand is not immune to the kinds of anger seen overseas. As Labour Party whip Kieran McAnulty put it, “I think everyone needs to be aware that things are starting to escalate.” ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 19 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Brendon Burns, Marlborough-based communications consultant, former Christchurch MP “Politics Daily is simply the best go-to summary of everything in and around central and local government and much more besides. Compulsory daily reading.” Anyone can sign up to NZPD for free at: https://democracyproject.nz/nz-politics-daily/ Today’s content Govt management of Delta outbreak Michael ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Buying Back The Whenua.
    Dangerous Visionaries: Rex Connor wanted to “buy back the farm” (i.e. nationalise Australia’s mineral wealth) and ended up bringing down the government of Gough Whitlam. Nanaia Mahuta’s Three Waters Project is seen by many as a first step to “buying back the whenua” (repatriating Māori lands and waters). A policy which threatens the longevity of ...
    1 week ago
  • nuremberg, and history
      There’s a lot been said recently about the Nuremberg code. So what is it, and why is it popping up now? As described in this excellent NEJM article, the Code was developed over 80 years ago in August 1947, by judges involved in the “Doctors Trial” at Nuremberg. There were ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #46, 2021
    Housekeeping: New content New Research is primarily focused on reports published in "the academic literature." Thanks to a diversity of publishers, journals, editors, reviewers, researchers and institutional affiliations, such publications are statistically highly successful at approximating and reflecting our best dispassionate understanding of research topics. Any given personal agenda not ...
    1 week ago
  • Another OIA horror-story
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bribing for convictions
    Imagine that you've been arrested and are facing criminal charges. Now imagine that the government tries to bribe your lawyer to encourage you to plead guilty. It's obviously corrupt and a complete mockery of justice. But that's exactly what the New Zealand Government wants to do: The Criminal Process ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How does Labour expect to get away with this?
    Yesterday's decision by the government to open the Auckland border in December was, like all their other recent decisions, immediately panned by public health experts. The polite version, on Stuff, is that Covid will "travel for summer" with Aucklanders, leading to outbreaks. Newsroom's Marc Daalder cuts through the crap and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Chronicles of Kregsmal and Krunch: Volume III
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    2 weeks ago
  • The Good Ship Jacinda Ardern
    Has any New Zealand Prime Minister had to face as many challenges as the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” that Jacinda Ardern has had to confront? The coronavirus epidemic alone has presented a myriad of problems, impacting as it does on so many different people and groups of people, ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate challenges mount for California agriculture
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jan Ellen Spiegel California agriculture has experienced just about every form of climate change-induced calamity: Heat, drought, fire, floods. None bodes well for the future of farming in this state that is the U.S. king of agriculture. But there are a couple ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 18 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Kara Tait, External communications manager, Kiwibank “The morning email from Bryce at the Democracy Project is must-read for communication professionals. It provides a comprehensive overview of the issues covered by New Zealand media in an easy to read format. It supplements my media monitoring and ensures I don’t ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago

  • Further COVID-19 economic support for Cook Islands and Fiji announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced a further package of support for the Cook Islands and Fiji for COVID-19 economic support and recovery. “Aotearoa New Zealand remains committed to supporting our Pacific fanau and vuvale to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on their economies, and move towards long-term ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • New law will clear the air for tamariki in vehicles
    From today, it’s illegal to smoke or vape in most vehicles carrying children aged under 18 years old - whether the vehicle is moving or not. “Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptable risk to our tamariki and rangatahi,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We know children in vehicles ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Nine countries designated very high risk
    Nine southern African countries are being added to the very high risk countries list following public health advice around the newly discovered COVID-19 variant Omicron, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. This afternoon, a public health risk assessment was carried out to assess the emerging evidence and any risk to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Foreign Affairs Minister concludes final stage of world trip
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today departed North America to return home to Aotearoa, concluding the last stage of her 17-day world trip. The final leg of her trip saw her visit the United States of America and Canada for a number of high-level discussions. While in Washington D.C., ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Milestone launch of Pacific Languages Unit
    Today’s official launch of the Pacific Languages Unit is a milestone for our Pacific communities, the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said. The Pacific Languages Unit brings together a new set of language supports within the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to provide advice, commission research, maintain standards, promote ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Public Health Lecture – University of Otago
    Public Health - Lessons from New Zealand’s COVID-19 response and opportunities for the future E nga mana, E nga reo,                                          E nga iwi. Tēna koutou katoa. Ka huri ki nga mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēna koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand statement on situation in Honiara, Solomon Islands
    Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply concerned by the events which have been unfolding in Honiara, Solomon Islands, since Wednesday. “New Zealand is a long-standing partner of Solomon Islands, and there are deep and enduring connections between our two countries,” Acting Foreign Affairs Minister David Parker said. “Our engagement in Solomon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Investment to support maternal mental health
    Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced an investment to help expand maternal mental health services in five District Health Boards. “Supporting parent’s mental wellbeing during their child’s first 1000 days, from conception to two years of age, is critical to the long-term emotional, mental and physical wellbeing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Workplace vaccination requirements extended to cover Police and NZ Defence Force
    With the support of the organisations, additional vaccination requirements will cover sworn members, recruits and authorised officers of the New Zealand Police, and all New Zealand Defence Force staff. First doses of the vaccine for workers in these organisations are required by 17 January 2022, and second doses by 1 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada to pursue greater Indigenous collaboration
    During her visit to Ottawa, the Honourable Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Associate Minister for Māori Development, met with the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canadian Minister of Indigenous Services, and the Honourable Marc Miller, Canadian Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, to further expand and develop the positive relationship ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Māori vaccination rates reach 80% first dose
    Associate Minister of Health (Māori) Hon Peeni Henare today confirmed that Māori across the motu have now reached 80 percent for first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination nationally. “We have seen a huge increase in vaccinations for Māori throughout November, since the beginning of the month the increase for first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Subsequent Children legislation to change
    The Government has today introduced legislation that will reverse provisions in the Oranga Tamariki Act as part of a path to rebuild trust and confidence in the organisation. “The Oranga Tamariki Amendment Bill makes a number of changes but by far the most important is the partial repeal of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill introduced to Parliament
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Shortcomings revealed in power cut investigation
    No household should have had their power disconnected 18 recommendations, mostly EA and Transpower related The EA must strengthen its oversight of the system operator An investigation into power cuts that left more than 34,000 households without electricity on one of the coldest nights of the year has found that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 Protection Framework supported by new testing and contact tracing strategy
    Wider use of rapid antigen testing from 1 December Increasing daily laboratory capacity to 60,000 PCR tests Q1 2022 A new national telehealth case investigation service with 475 investigators A nearly $1 billion investment in testing, contact tracing and case investigation A new national testing strategy will provide better protection ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting New Zealanders to recover from COVID-19 in the community
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Additional support for people isolating at home
    New regional MSD COVID-19 welfare teams to coordinate social service support for those isolating at home Regional teams working alongside other government agencies, iwi/Māori and community providers for housing, food and income support Government investment of $204.1m into welfare system support for Care in the Community Minister for Social Development ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tax bill provides vital support for families
    A boost to Working for Families tax credits, as part of a package of financial support that will see 346,000 families better off, has been passed into law late last night.  Revenue Minister David Parker said the measures would lift the incomes of those receiving the Family Tax Credit, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New text service to support disabled peoples’ vaccinations
    Efforts to support disabled peoples’ vaccinations go from strength-to-strength with the launch of a new text service, Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The service, run by Whakarongorau Aotearoa on behalf of the Ministry of Health, is in response to feedback from the disability community and is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Proactive Calendar Release – October 2021
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pacific community reach vaccination milestone
    Pacific communities across the nation have rolled up their sleeves and played their part to reach a major vaccination milestone, 90 percent  have now had their first vaccination, Aupito William Sio, Minister for Pacific Peoples and Associate Minister of Health said. “Reaching this milestone reflects the work Pacific Health Providers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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